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crimea. their troopses are guarding key buildings here in the capital. the latest is that several hundred russian troops have arrived at a ukrainian military base not far from here where there is now a confrontation. the russians are demanding the ukrainians lay down weapons and threatening force and a group of ukrainian guards are behind the gate looking frightened. it's not a confrontation at the minute but certainly a standoff. that's pretty typical. the russians, as you say, have certainly taken over this region of ukraine. >> bill neely on the ground for us in the area, thank you very much i'm now joined by secretary of state john kerry. welcome back to "meet the press." >> glad to be with you. thank you. >> for the past ten days, the administration officials and the president himself have basically said to russia don't do this or else. here just friday, the president laying it out when he spoke to vladimir putin. >> the united states will stand
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with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military interventioning in ukraine. >> now, you've called this an invasion. so what are the costs? >> well, we're now discussing all of the options. this is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. it's really 19th century behavior in the 21st century and there's no way to start with that if russia persists in this, that the g-8 countries are going to assemble in sochi. that's a starter. but there's much more than that. russia has major investment and trade needs and desires. i think there's a unified view by all of the foreign ministers i talked with yesterday, all of the g-8 and more that they're simply going to isolate russia, they're not going to engage with russia in a normal business as usual manner, that russia is inviting the international
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stage. there could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans, there could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. and there could be business drawback on investment in the country. the oyfruble is already feeline impact of this and going down. the reason for this, david, is because you just don't invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests. there are ways -- there are ways to deal with this, and president putin knows that. president obama yesterday offered mediation. there are plenty of ways to protect russian-speaking people in crimea are 0 other parts of ukraine. but you know, they are really sort of a hidden pretext here of possibly trying to annex crimea. >> is there a military option? there is as you know a security arrangement with ukraine that goes back to the '90s between
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the u.s. and ukraine and other western powers. does nato draw a line here to try to check any further aggression beyond cry meetia into the eastern part of ukraine? >> well, nato is meeting today. the north atlantic council is meeting probably even as we speak now. they will be -- i know that secretary-general of nato rasmussen issued a very strong statement against what has happened. but i don't know what is actually on the table with rect to the steps they may or may not take. but they're deeply concerned. today or tomorrow, the european foreign affairs council will meet. they are very concerned about what has happened. we talked yesterday with japan, with others. this is a global concern because in the 21st century, countries have been working to establish a different kind of behavior as the norm. >> that i understand. i'm just trying to understand. i think a lot of people watching us are trying to understand how
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important is ukraine essentially to the united states. what's our interest there. >> is this worth fighting for literally? >> david, let me make it clear. the people of ukraine reply fighting for democracy, they're fighting for freedom. they're fighting to have their voices heard and not be governed by a clep tocracy, but a tyrant, by someone who puts a political opposition in jail, somebody who robs the country of its livelihood and future. and they spoke out againstçdbañ snipers from roofs who were killing them. they kept on marching, and fought for their freedom. now they have the opportunity for that are democracy, and by the way, president yanukovych's only supporters abandoned him. they voted0de against him. they impeached him so russia and president putin are aligning themselves firmly with this clep tocracy, aligning themselves with the person who was legitimate little stripped of
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his power by the parliament, even by his own supporters.hink mistake for russia and we hope, president obama hopes that president putin will turn in the direction that is available to him to work with all of us in a way that creates in ukraine. this does not have to be and should not be an east/west struggle. this is not about russia and the u.s. this is about the people of ukraine, and that's who needs to be front and center. >> i just want to clarify this. i mean, i gather by what you're prying you don't want to be too cise. is there a military option that has to be contemplated here? >> david, the last thing anybody wants is a military option in this kind of a situation. we want a peaceful resolution through the normal processes of international relations. but in the absence you have president putin making the right decision to work with the government of ukraine, to work
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with the west, to work with all of us, as i said a moment ago, this is not about the russia and the united states. it's about the people of ukraine. and we asked president putinton step back from being in violation of the u.n. charter, in violation of the helsinki final act, in violation of the 1997 russia, ukraine basing agreement. i mean, they are in direct overt violation of international law. >> can i just challenge you on one point. >> we asked them to step back. >> you say it's not about the u.s. and russia, but the reality is just wednesday, you told me ltclleague andrea mitchell that will vladimir putin said he would respect the territorial integrity of ukraine. now you're talking about russia annexing the crimea. something happened. i wonder as you hear some criticism from conservatives an that say the issue here is that vladimir putin's not afraid, that he saw a red line by this administration in syria and then no follow-up, no kz an, that he thinks that he can provoke the
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u.s. and the west and that president obama won't do anything in response. >> we, he's finding out the opposite. let me make it clear, president putin is not operating from a place of strength here. yanukovych was his you know supported president. yanukovych was thrown out. despite putin's support. yanukovych turned on his own people. president putin is using force in a completely inappropriate manner that will invite the world and it also already is. he is not going to gain by this. he may be able to have his troops for some period of time in crimea unless he resolves this, but the fact is, he's going to lose on the international stage, russia is going to lose, the russian people are going to lose. he's going to lose all of the glow that came out of the olympics. his $60 billion extravaganza. he is not going to have a an sochi not even remain in the
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g-8 if this continues. may find himself with asset freezes on russian business, american business may pull back. there may be a further tumble of the ruble. there's a huge price to pay. the united states is united, russian is isolated. that is not a position of strength. >> two quick ones here as we extend. these difficulties with russia, occur blunt talk this morning also extends to syria where you've been very clear that russia's support for is assad in your words has allowed assad to the double down in his killing efforts of his opponent in this civil war. isn't it true, mr. secretary, that you support a more robust intervention into syria, that you would like to see some kind of military action to at least train those rebel fighters in syria? is it time for that, and has russia complicated the syrian effort? >> i support the president's policy and i support what the president is doing now reviewing all of the options as he has
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been continually with respect to the syria, david. the fact is, we are doing more than almost any other country. we're doing an enormous amount. and once again, russia is playing a very duplicitous game and very dangerous game. they proclaim that they are worried about the terrorists, worried about syria, worried about the impact on jordan and on lebanon and surrounding countries. and yet, they continue to support assad in a way that prevents him or helps him to make the decision not to the come to the table to negotiate. it's a completely contradictory and cynical policy. and i believe russia, you know, in the crimea and. syria is really engaging in activity that is completely contradictory to the standards that most of us are trying to operate by in the 21st century. certainly not behaving like a g-8 country. >> before i get to my final question on israel with a big
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meeting with benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister coming to meet with the president, marco rubio is saying it's time for the administration to publicly acknowledge the reset with russia is dead. do you acknowledge that? >> well, i don't know what you mean by the reset. >> the reset in relations that this administration called for. >> i know, but long ago, we've entered into a different phase with russia. i don't think this is a moment to be proclaiming one thing or the other. they've difficulties with russia with respect to certain issues and we've managed to do the start treaty. they've cooperated on afghanistan and iran. this is not a zero sum dead alive, it's a question of differences, very profound differences on certain issues. and certain approaches. and we've made those very clear over the course of the last months. >> with the regard to the israel, you've worked so hard on middle east peace as threatenia hugh comes to washington, is this a moment of truth for him? does he have to act for the
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peace process to be successful? >> well, everybody has to act, david. this isn't just a question or i an series of questions for prime minister netanyahu. he's been very courageous and he's made tough decisions with respect to entering into these negotiations and some of the things that he's indicated he's willing to do in the negotiations. it's also up to president abbas, the palestinians need to decide whether or not they're prepared to compromise, whether or not they're willing to do some of the things necessary. this is not a burden exclusive to one party or the other. so we expect to have a good conversation. i don't think it's some showdown or anything. this has been a very cooperative, very engaged process on a daily basis with both parties. and even while prime minister netanyahu will be here there week, there will be representatives of the platoons here too and we'll have some conversations with them. and hopefully over the next weeks, we can reach some kind of understanding about how to
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negotiate a final status agreement. >> mr. secretary, we always appreciate your time. thanks so much. >> thank you, david. >> now i want to turn to republican senator marco rubio of florida, a member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator, welcome back to the program. >> thank you, good prng. >> how did we get here. >> do you agree with om so of your colleagues who say it's the weakness of president obama and the united states right now that emboldened president putin of russia? >> i think our policy towards russia under this administration deserves heavy criticism. i usually shy away from that when it's important for the nation to speak with one voice. i'm enkirnlged which what i heard secretary kerry say a moment ago. there already things i would like to see us do in addition to the steps he outlined. as we look forward to our future relationship with russia, it's important to learn from the errors of the last few years. i think we have not accurate lit assessed clearly what it is russia's goals are under vladimir putin. they're not interested in
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building an international norm that nations conduct themselves under like what secretary kerry was describing a moment ago. they're interesting in reconstituting russian power and russian prestige. often at the expense of u.s. national interests. >> what do you do about that? because that was true under president bush, as well. who famously said that he thought he could the trust vladimir putin only to find out what he couldn't and then putin invaded separatist region of georgia and the u.s. didn't do much about it. isn't the same predicament here? you may know what putin wants to do, but what are you prepared to do in terms of the use of american power to stop it. >> first of all, i think previous administrations deserve criticism, as well with regards to clearly viewing what vladimir putin's goals are here. moving forward, if you look at secretary kerry a moment ago mentioned success with the start treaty. we know the russians have basically violated every major treaty they've entered into. we've seen how they've basically lied. they are lying and this government is a government of
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liars, the russian government. you see what's happening in crimea. you've got individuals showing up in unmarked uniforms wearing masks. clearly they're russian troops even though they refuse to acknowledge it. you're dealing with a government that lies as a matter, of course, and it's very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way. >> you're saying as you did in a piece you wrote for politico that we've got to the use blunt talk. i ask you for blunt talk. is russia an enemy of the united states now? >> i think they're increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and norms. after the end of world war ii and through the cold war era, the spread of democracy and freedom and established norms for nations to interact with one another so we would never have another world war. under this president putin, russia does not seem interested in any of that. they are an enemy of that and an enemy of the united states with
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regard to those things i've outlined. if you look at the issues they've taken on issue of an issue, they've been an obstacle to u.s. national interest. >> the president said the we're watching and we want to make sure that will nobody crosses the line or there will be consequences. last sunday at this table, susan rice, national security advisor, said it would be a grave mistake for russia to invade the crimea. on friday the president says there will be a cost to intervention. what does it say to you that vladimir putin has ignored the united states for ten days? >> well, part of it is he's made a cost benefit analysis. he has weighed the costs of doing what he's done and the benefits. clearly he concluded the benefits far outweigh the costs. we need to change that calculus. i think secretary kerry outlined accurately enough one of our goals here needs to be to isolate russia, exact an extraordinary price to payen ot international front for them, for their ambitions, ultimately for individuals in that government and for their economy. the other part of this that's
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not receiving enough attention is the u.s. must convene our allies both in europe and through nato to strengthen the interim government in kiev to allow them to transition to a drake government, be able to hold their elections. that's critical, too. i think the next phase in this, perhaps you're seeing the outlines of it already are russians trying to undermine the government if kiev. >> do you think there is a military option for the united states ornate tote? in other words, do you advocate now going beyond what you just heard from secretary kerry, which was economic isolation, perhaps expelling russia from the g-particular sanctions to key russian officials and the like? >> i think if you're asking me whether the u.s. should be taking military strikes against russian troops and ukraine or in crimea, i would argue i don't think anyone is advocating to are are that. i am saying however that our nato alliance needs to be reinvigorated, is an important alliance. countries that neighbor ukraine, for example, are poland and
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others who had part of that alliance, we need to be providing them assurance hads of the importance of this alliance including perhaps -- we should revisit the missile missile defense shield we talked about so often. beyond that, i would say it's part of strengthening and stabilizing the government in kiev now so they can transition to stability down the road, as well, i think partof that should be strengthening their defense capabilities. i think this threat is a long-term one they're facing >> you've been focused on foreign policy challenges in venezuela. there are protests there against the government and a crackdown against protesters in the streets. what would like to see the administration do? >> first we need to clearly pronounce ourselves as more than just concerned about what's happening. we need to say clearly the united states and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and desires, the rightful desires of the people in the streets, the students and young people protesting against violations. beyond that, i would like to see specific u.s. sanctions against
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individuals in the maduro government that are systematically participating in the violation of human rights and anti-drake actions. those would go a long way in that regard. >> i want to ask you a couple questions about politics here back home. one has to do with the big controversy out of arizona, a bill that was vetoed by the governor and the general concern than some conservatives in the party have that as gay rights rights advance specifically, that sometimes religious freedom in this country is being trampled on. is this a key issue for republicans, you think, in this election year? >> here's the key issue. on the one hand, i think americans the vast majority of conservatives are against discrimination, the notion that someone because they are gay would be denied service at a restaurant and so for the is the something americans don't support, conservatives don't support. the other side is imagine now if you are a southern baptist or catholic or evangelical photographer who does not believe in gay marriage and because of that you don't want
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to the provide services for a guy marriage. should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so? that's what they endeavored to deal with arizona. i never read the law. as i said, we've been pretty busy this week on a number of fronts. the governor maybe felt that that law extended beyond that, but that is also a legitimate concern. it's one we're going to have to balance as this issue continues to unfold across the states here in america. >> you don't think this was an open and shut case? this was tough for you. you think the law had some merit without saying that you support it. >> i don't believe that gay americans should be denied services at a restaurant or hotel or anything of that nature. i don't believe however that a caterer or photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious believes. we've got to figure out a way to the protect that, as well. >> i know you and others who are often talked about as presidential candidates in 2016 are trying to deal with the business at hand. there's a lot of speculation about your standing.
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i want to the read chris cillizza. no matter what rubio does now to placate conservativatives his opponents will i'm the voters of his involvement in legislation that provided a path for undocumented workers. while that may be a general republic point where republicans badly need to court hispanics, it's not likely to be popular in places like iowa and south carolina, two states that cast some of the earliest votes for president in 2016. are you damages goods because of your support for that's right immigration bill? >> i don't know. i certainly knew going into immigration reform that's not exactly sa the kind of issue you take on with regard to becoming politically popular among some segments. i would say the concerns conservatives have are legitimate ones. what i endeavor to do is try to find a solution to a real problem the country is confronting. i understand it's a difficult one. i knew that going in. i'll continue to do what's right
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for the country, what i believe to be right on issue of an issue and where that leads me politically, that's what elections are for and campaigns are for. but i'm not going to let the future of political considerations stop me from doing what i believe is right for the country or doing my job during my time in the senate. >> are you undeterred at this point? will you pursue the president is i in 2016? >> well, i haven't made that decision and i didn't come here this morning to make that announcement. that's something i'll consider later in the year, next year. as you know in 2016, pie term in the senate expires. i'll have a decision to make either way. i think our country's at an important crossroads on the international front and a domestic front. i'll have to think about whether from that role in the presidency i would be able to influence that in a positive way. >> senator rubio, a lot going on here internationally and in politics. thank you very much for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> so you just heard this talk from both secretary kerry and marco rubio. next our roundtable is here. more on this crucial test for
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president obama's leadership overseas and specifically in the ukraine and the culture war i mentioned with politics. how will the debates over freedom and religion and gay rights play into the 2014 campaign? andian rand paul is urging caution in the gop's fight with president obama. >> there are times when people are using language that shouldn't be used. i recently criticized someone for using some of that lock. i'm not going to bring it up, but i will say that we can disagree with the president without calling him names. >> "meet the press" is brought to you by boeing, where the drive to build something [ male announcer ] we know they're out there. you can't always see them. but it's our job to find them. the answers. the solutions. the innovations. all waiting to help us build something better. something more amazing. a safer, cleaner, brighter future. at boeing, that's what building something better is all about.
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♪ at boeing, that's what building something better is all about. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of potential?hare.what abon add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close! new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. we are back now to react to events in ukraine and discuss the big week in politics.
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i'm joined by the roundtable. our political director chuck todd, jeffrey goldberg from the atlantic magazine and stephanie rawlings-blake, the mayor of baltimore, tina brown, founder of the women in the world foundation, and nationally syndicated columnist from the "washington post" kathleen parker. welcome to all of you. this is a conversation about obama's leadership, pure and simple. this is a major test for whether the rest of the world, particularly bad actors, take him seriously when he says to not do something. chuck todd, "the washington post" editorial that i've been looking at this morning says this. it took vladimir putin less than a day to trample on president obama's warning against a russian military intervention in ukraine. the u.s. now faces a naked act of armed aggression in the center of europe by a russian regime that is signaling its intent to the steam roller this u.s. president and his allies, mr. obama must demonstrate that
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can't be done. and he said don't do it for ten days. >> this is not the first time with putin. he actions, obama warns. putin acts, obama warns. this is a pattern he can't afford to stay in here and just continue to warn. you heard john kerry more warnings. i've talked to some folks. there are some moves they could make and could make right now. they're not act of war moves. they are immediate economic sanctions. russia's largest banks are state owned banks. you could choke them economically in a hurry. the largest energy company is a pal of putin. just do it. just suspend it, be move, start the meeting. that was the sense that you're wondering why isn't the president out there saying okay, we have made these moves. he's done this. you know, it was before it was trying to play some diplomacy. but they've got this 24 hours and you hear john kerry with more warnings. they know he's got to act

Meet the Press
NBC March 3, 2014 2:04am-2:30am EST

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.); Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.); Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (R); Women in the World founder Tina Brown; columnist Kathleen Parker; Chuck Todd, NBC chief White House correspondent.

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY Ukraine 19, U.s. 11, Crimea 9, United States 7, Syria 7, Us 6, Nato 5, Kerry 5, Washington 3, Boeing 3, John Kerry 3, Assad 3, Marco Rubio 3, Obama 2, Arizona 2, Israel 2, At&t 2, Europe 2, Netanyahu 2, Rubio 2
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